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wildcrafter
12-20-2008, 11:40 PM
I finally had some excellent real organic beers that were brewed with organic hops; I didn't get that luxury last year.... Hmmmm.... Too much to talk about there!

Ok, here's my whining....the recent ruling allowing non-organic hops in "Organic" labeled beers/ales/etc...because of the 5% ruling by the US FDA.

Not cool.:(

So, do I confuse you when I show up with (2) five gallon jugs of water, a couple packages of yeast (organic?), (3) one gallon ziplocks of dried malted barley extract(surely organic), and (2) one gallon ziplocks of hops(?) and ask why the two ziplocks of hops are 5% of this "organic product"?? I assume the ruling must be by weight because it's 2 bags of hops versus 3 bags of malt and the little foil pouches of yeast can't count for much....and nobody can claim water is organic.

But...
I'd say look into the amount of chemicals and type of chemicals used to produce the hops...the hops you all may brew with---if they are not organic. You may get an education you didn't really want.

Another way of looking at this is simple. Imidacloprid is a common chemical used in the growing of hops. It inhibits aphids and more and is a long-life systemic pesticide. It is used commonly and sold under many commercial names for more agricultural purposes than just the growing of hops.

Per the FDA, the maximum Imidacloprid that is allowed on the outside of an eggshell is a concentration level of (.02)ppm.

The maximum residue level of Imidacloprid on hops is (3.0)ppm.

I don't eat eggshells.
I put hops in my beer.

150 times more Imidacloprid in the hops I drink vs. the eggshell I throw away!!:eek:

5% ruling???

What??!!??!!:confused:

Does anybody care? Did anybody notice this math flounder?

jwalts
12-21-2008, 09:30 AM
I have mixed feelings on the 95% rule. On one hand, I don't like that brewers can label beers as organic without having any intention of using organic hops - even for relatively hoppy beers. On the other hand, I like that breweries who are trying to make organic beers, but may not have consistent supplies of organic hops, can advertise their beers as organic because they're still taking huge steps in the organic direction. Breweries that are firmly committed to using entirely organic ingredients can currently differentiate themselves by pursuing a '100% organic' certification.

I'm working on opening a brewpub that brews all organic beer, and I plan on buying some of my hops from a farmer here in Wisconsin. He grows his hops organically but doesn't certify them due to the expense, which is prohibitive for a lot of small growers (he also believes that it's easy to deceive inspectors and receive certifications for crops that aren't remotely organic, but that's a completely different discussion). Because of the 95% rule, I'll still be able to certify my beers if I buy my hops locally instead of having them shipped from New Zealand. I agree with you that the 95% rule has some pretty ridiculous consequences, but I think that removing it without any other legistative changes will hinder the organic movement. Consumers would see a lot less organically-labeled beer on store shelves, and the brewers who use organic barley for purely marketing reasons would probably return to non-organic malt.

I'd treat the varying restrictions on Imidacloprid as a completely separate issue.

Joe

mic_mac
12-21-2008, 06:21 PM
I'd heard that some of the UK organic accreditation bodies were pretty flexible too & I think it's all a bit dodgy.

If a company wants to brew organic, to me that should actually mean something - simply that all the ingredients should have been grown organically.

I know it's a complex picture - e.g.there are environmental issues over shipping hops around the world.

If a brewery uses un-certified yet organic hops, then maybe they should state that on the label & if possible aim to help the hop-farm to become accredited or seek an accredited source?

I know accreditation is a minefield & open to abuse, but if "organic" is to have any meaning, surely it needs to be policed somehow? Or even more unscrupulous producers will fraudulently jump on the bandwagon.

To me fraud is a reason to tighten the rules, not remove them & it's ridiculous to have a situation where you can make "organic" beer with non-organic hops - it's wrong & detrimental to the reputation of the whole organic sector.

Well, that's my British 2-cents!
Cheers
MikeMcG
http://www.betwixtbeer.co.uk
(previously brewed organic beers at a UK regional & micro)

Beersmith
12-22-2008, 08:30 AM
Wildcrafter,

I too disagree with the allowance of conventionally grown hops in certified organic beer. By allowing brewers to use conventional hops in organic beer, the USDA is discouraging hop growers from growing organic - seems counter intuitive.

The math is all based on the dry weight of ingredients, excluding (obviously I guess) water and CO2. So in order for a beer to be certified 95% organic, it can have no more than 5% by weight of non-certified organic ingredients in it - INCLUDING yeast. We initially applied to have our organic beers certified 100% (we have always used certified organic hops) but were denied by our certifying agency at the direction of the USDA because at that time (and still true I think) yeast was not certifiable organic.

It is a dilemma, we would make more organic beer if we could obtain a greater variety (and quantity) of certified organic hops. We so far refuse to use conventional hops in our organic beer. However, we would use more total organic ingredients (ie malt) if we used conventional hops after our organic supply was used up. We would be buying more organic ingredients which is positive as well. We have been using NZ organic varieties for 10 years, and have tried others when available, however finding a reliable supply outside of NZ has been difficult.

Anyway, I hope the exception allowing conventional hops in organic beer goes away. If/when it does, it will be turmoil for a few years, but ultimately I think enough growers will respond.

AlexisScarlett
12-30-2008, 08:48 AM
150 times more Imidacloprid in the hops I drink vs. the eggshell I throw away!!:eek:

5% ruling???

What??!!??!!:confused:

Does anybody care? Did anybody notice this math flounder?

Not really confused just cynical.
Both the USDA and FDA seem at times to exist to move product out to an unsuspecting comsumer base at unsafe speeds according to the science behind testing.

If china produces organic and walmart sells organic (both entities known for cutting corners regardless of harm)-- then organic may not be what what we want anymore.

I care most because I can come in contact with concentrations of any pesticide way beyond safe PPM. Out here we even have waterways and buildings that are contaminated.

A new paradigm is necessary that embraces local, wholesome, fair labor practices, and longterm land stewardship. I like "sustainable" but the PR people have already gotten their claws in that one too.

Matt L
04-04-2009, 07:29 PM
Wildcrafter,

I agree with you on the theory but the practice of running a brewery using organic hops is another thing. We are opening our brewery here in Seattle (early May) and will seek organic certification when we have the production side dialed in. I have been an enviro. activist since the 1980's and have seen the perception of the word 'environment' change from "you're an idealist" to the pervasive corporate green washing we see today. Likewise with the organic movement in agriculture. For whatever reason, the US hop market is in a time warp in regards to organic production. This will change. In part, it will change due to efforts such as yours. In part, it will change when consumers demand it and they will do so when the enviro/organic activists finally achieve traction on this issue. Until then, we brewers are left with a dilemma: buy commercial quantities of hops from New Zealand or buy local and work with our agriculture communities from the ground up to develop an organic hops market. We are choosing the later and using our local hops while working with local farmers to plant test plots of organic hops with a guaranteed contract to buy what they produce. We will work with our state Ag commission to support these efforts and push subsidies towards these farmers, we will work with our media to highlight these efforts and we will educate our customers on why it all matters. In the meantime, I'd rather buy hops from my local producers than New Zealand (although it's a fine country and produces some great hops) and push change from the ground up. We are also working with our local brewers to follow our lead and enlarge the market. Of course, we are fortunate to brew in WA. state where hops are very local but I'd argue that anything in this country is more local than NZ. As to brewers using the organic label to 'greenwash' their beers, I just don't see it. Organic beers are rare and the few brewers who use organic malt, seek organic certification for their entire process, etc simply do not fit in this category in my experience. They are committed to change and most importantly to quality. Organic malt is superior to conventional malt, organic beer can be superior to conventional beer but we have to focus on this quality and the benefits of local rather than a slavish adherence to "organic" in order to move consumers to demand organic beer. I commend your efforts and look forward to the day when the "organic" label disappears altogether and is simply the "conventional" method of brewing the highest quality beer.
Cheers,

Matt
Fremont Brewing Co
www.fremontbrewing.com

wildcrafter
04-05-2009, 06:50 AM
Does anybody know how and why New Zealand came to produce organic hops? Can you enlighten me please?:confused:

mic_mac
04-05-2009, 09:39 AM
the explanation I'd heard was that being so distant from any other traditional hop-growing regions, New Zealand doesn't have as many of the troublesome pests, diseases & fungi that hamper hop-growing elsewhere, so the chemical solutions to those weren't needed as much.

Possibly coupled with weather/soil conditions that naturally encourage hop-growth & yet somehow don't encourage pests, etc?

matthendry
04-05-2009, 03:34 PM
If you claim that your Beer is 100% organic then you have to use all organic Ingredients including hops but the 95% rule doesn't encourage brewers to use organic hops if they do'nt have to .

My friend has a small organic farm in Vermont and has some 7 year old hop plants on his property and I looked into the organic hop market for him so he could start a dedicated hop yard but its just not worth it because the the organic brewers I spoke to are buying conventionaly grown hops .

The homebrew market is where I saw some opportunity for hand picked organic hops so my friend is going to concentrate on the homebrew market and sell rhizomes and 3oz packages of hops at the moment .Foothill farms in upstate New York also concentrates on the homebrew market .

http://www.foothillhops.com/

Im a Aussie who now lives in the US and New Zealand has some of the strictest quarantine regulations in the World to protect their agriculture from pests and disease and the NZ government encourages organic agriculture this one reason is why New Zealand organic hops are highly sought after . Tasmanian Hops also have low use of pesticides and chemicals .One reason that the Australian and New Zealand Hop industry was established is because they can supply hops in the off season to the Northern Hemisphere .I know that Fosters is a large share holder in Australian Hop Marketers and runs the largest CO2 Hop extract Plant in the southern hemisphere at the Carlton United Brewery in Melbourne . .

NZ Hops History
http://www.nzhops.co.nz/history.html
http://www.nzhops.co.nz/articles/organic.html/
Aussie Hop Industry Overview
http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/EGIL-5HU8Q9?open


If your looking for Aussie or NZ hops including organic talk to John or Sandy Ross from HopCo they are great guys and have been helpful to many in the Craft brewing industry in Australia .

http://www.hopco.com.au/index.html

Beersmith
04-06-2009, 08:30 AM
Does anybody know how and why New Zealand came to produce organic hops? Can you enlighten me please?:confused:


My understanding is that there is a single grower (Hop Haven LTD) in NZ who produces almost all of the organic hops sold by the NZ Hop Board. I have also heard that his farm is isolated from the other NZ hop producers, and thus minimizes any pest/disease cross-contamination problems (I think I need to take a research trip over there to see if it's true). Which by the way, is why many of the US hop producers who have tried to grow organic have failed. Growers in the Yakima valley are surrounded by other conventional fields, and the organic plots have had significant pest/disease contamination issues.

Matt L,

Local does not necessarily trump organic. Also, the most effective way to convince growers to produce organic hops is to buy organic hops - period. Subsidies, media exposure, talking with the Ag commission and educating your customers all sound good, but the market is the strongest force. Domestic growers are motivated to grow organic when they see a brewer buying organic hops from NZ at twice the price.

wildcrafter
04-06-2009, 09:05 AM
Beersmith,,, You Rock!!

I'd love to go to NZ and shake the hand(s) of this one solo(?) farmer that is providing all the organic hops. Only one farm,,,hmmmm. Pretty unique don't ya think? I want to learn more about this!

Without him(them),,we all may have never questioned anything....or even thought about organic hops? One to lead the way,,time to follow?

I hope I never first hand understand the need for the intense chemicals currently used to grow hops. My ignorances are blissful, but my curiousity is passionate.

When did NZ start marketing organic hops? Local first,, then the world?:confused:

liammckenna
04-06-2009, 02:58 PM
Hey Wildcrafter. Greetings from the edge of the world.

Interesting thread. Have been lurking around it. Just finished reading a book lately - The Omnivores Dilemna - Author Michael Pollan - speaks, amongst many other things, about the 'Industrial Organic Complex' . Apparently, most of the organic cow's milk in America comes from very few mega-producers. The same is true with most vegetable produce (measured by volume of production and sales). This is both disturbing to me and contrary to the typical perception of an organic producer. Especially since the US interpretation of 'Organic' is extremely different vs. most of the rest of the world.

Here, at the edge of the world, it is very much about local - fish, moose, caribou, seal, root vegetables, berries, beef, pork, milk, butter, cheese, rabbit, and the list goes on. We live on an island off the east coast of Canada. Everything is very expensive to ship in and out (including malt and hops for beer) and consequently the long standing population has become ingrained to local consumption.Newfoundland can be a harsh place, but it is rich in natural resources (hydro, oil and gas, fish, iron, diamonds, wood, water). That is why the Vikings landed here and European culture (for better or worse) arrived in the New World for good.

Although I largely consume local food which is sometimes/sometimes not 'Organic', I see some people feel compelled to buy things like a punnet of organic blackberries out of season from Chile at the local grocer and somehow feel good about it. Like they're doing something good for the planet. It took a huge amount of fossil fuel to get those blackberries to our local grocer. I guess it doesn't really matter to that person. So why are they paying a premium for 'Organic' anyway?

Food for thought, I guess. I'm rambling again. Have to go check the seal flipper pie.

Pax.

Liam

matthendry
04-07-2009, 06:02 AM
NZ organic hops where being sold in Australia to home brewers and brewers in the early 90s .I worked for a brewing/homebrew wholesaler in Australia and we used to get limited quantities of test hops in from time to time from Australian Hop Marketers and Hopunion and some of those where organic but not certified because they where new plantings .

The Omnivores Dilemma is a good example why more brewers should be looking at the Zero Emissions approach to brewing and while some big brewers are looking at more ways to be green because its good marketing and often saves money many microbrewers still tend to be very wasteful and want to get rid of spent grain and waste water as soon as they can but there can be a whole organic farm developed around the "waste" from a small brewery.

This is why the Nanobrewery movement might just gain some traction if those brewers learn how to produce value added products like mushrooms from spent grain , this might be a good way to get a farm brewery licence also .

http://www.zeri.org/case_studies_beer.htm

http://www.zeri.org/case_studies_pigs.htm

wildcrafter
04-07-2009, 08:11 AM
Matt- Thanks for dating the NZ appearance with organic hops. I assume it was a market driven reality as much as the simple ability to easily produce organic hops... Oh, yeah,,and a certifying agency was in place as a co-marketer?

Another good book related to all of these current ag issues is, "Against the Grain: How Agriculture Hijacked Civilization" by Richard Manning. Michael Pollen's other book, "The Botany of Desire" is also pertinant.

Liam- I hear you about your local unique food options and import needs. I would think that you have the power of voting with your dollar when it comes to anything imported,,,because,,,local hops are not an option for you. Let me know if you ever find an organic certifying agency or need for organic seal flipper pie!! Sounds wildly interesting. I would like to get some places on US Forest Service land certified organic,,but how would that happen?

I know a large farmer that grows organically,,but is not certified. He grows this way because it is easier and cheaper. He does not like the chemicals and required certs to apply them. He cares about the land and animals,,,must make money,, and grows crops for seed that do not require the certification,,crops that nobody cares about if they're organic or not. Roadside revegetation plants are his game. I asked him how he came about all of this and why he doesn't believe in spraying. He told me, " I just don't and won't grow things that need it". Pretty simple. Imagine large crop circles of beautiful flowers in the desert sun with rich mulch and worms thriving in harmony with eagles, deer, elk and all high desert life.

Is the reason that only one farmer is producing organic hops is because he is the only one that can? Really? Do you all believe this could be true? Only one?

mic_mac
04-13-2009, 10:48 AM
My understanding is that there is a single grower (Hop Haven LTD) in NZ who produces almost all of the organic hops sold by the NZ Hop Board. I have also heard that his farm is isolated from the other NZ hop producers, and thus minimizes any pest/disease cross-contamination problems (I think I need to take a research trip over there to see if it's true). Which by the way, is why many of the US hop producers who have tried to grow organic have failed. Growers in the Yakima valley are surrounded by other conventional fields, and the organic plots have had significant pest/disease contamination issues.

Matt L,


(apologies for my slow reply - I'd not spotted the recent additions to the thread)
I'm not knowledgeable enough to know the truth about this point, but I did hear rumours in the UK industry that in the 1990s, the one famous UK organic grower only actually planted a single organic field (1ha) & simply relied on the chemical pest/fungus control of the surrounding non-organic fields:eek:
That said, in interview this grower said that one year in 3/4 their entire organic crop was wiped out.

This opinion/information came along the hop-vine, so I take it with a huge pinch of NaCl - I suspect organic accreditation organisations would take a very dim view of such sharp practices - I just thought it was ironic that the reason that had been given for the success of the UK farmer was seen to be exactly the opposite for the NZ one.
cheers
MikeMcG
http://www.betwixtbeer.co.uk

Alex T
04-14-2009, 04:17 AM
Hey,

So just a couple of things about Tasmanian and NZ hops. There is an absence of certain diseases - such as certain mildews - which is why they are very strick with quarantine in both countries. Also, I know that for example in Tasmania they release predatory mites to control other pests. Another thing is the fact they sheep are used for weed and grass control through the fields - not herbicides. So there are a number of things that are an advantage to Hop Products Australia (no longer any relation to Fosters, actually a company of the Barth group) and NZ Hop Marketers.

So perhaps some growers in the US will be able to produce organic crops, but as there are already some diseases established there it might be tough going... (although better luck may be had in the non-traditional, i.e. not pacific NW, locations????)

Anyway, cheers for now,

Alex

beerking1
04-14-2009, 06:03 AM
So perhaps some growers in the US will be able to produce organic crops, but as there are already some diseases established there it might be tough going... (although better luck may be had in the non-traditional, i.e. not pacific NW, locations????)

It has been my understanding that the westward movement of the hop growing "center" of our nation (which began in VA, BTW, then moved to Upstate NY, etc) we driven, at least in part, by the development of diseases in the areas where they were being grown.

matthendry
04-14-2009, 06:22 AM
There are some organic Hop growers in the US they are just not huge monoculture growers like you have out west ,when you have monocultured industrialized crops you have to use a whole lot of pesticides and fertilizers.

http://www.foothillhops.com/

Sulfur
04-14-2009, 06:50 AM
In Germany for a beer to be considered organic - even the yeast used must be organic i.e. you cannot repitch a yeast from a nonorganic beer. That part I can understand, but then they also try to dictate how you should run the fermentation. For the certification I was looking at, they would not allow modern speed fermentations and stipulated a maximum allowable temperature! To me this is crossing the line between ensuring an organic product and dictating policy. What really does the temp have to do with whether or not the beer is organic! I guess to them it's about the whole approach. They promote sustainable agriculture starting from the individual farm and mandate it down the line, being critical of any non-traditional or non-sustainable or even modern methods.

beerking1
04-14-2009, 08:18 AM
That does sound a little crazy. Under such policies for fermentation temperature, many Belgian brewers, including a few Trappists, could probably not qualify as organic if they wanted.

mic_mac
04-14-2009, 04:37 PM
In UK the Soil Association (main organic accreditation organisation - http://www.soilassociation.org/ ) regulates most organic producers, initially they seemed pretty clueless about beer, & made some odd pronouncements,

Now, AFAIK they seem a lot more sensible - simply asking for an audit trail of ingredients, that organic ingredients have separate marked storage areas, & that some organic malt is run through the mill in order to flush out any remaining non-organic.

Regards yeast, if memory serves, if you have a house strain used also for non-organic beers, you can still use it for organic beers (as the brewery I worked at never allowed any other yeasts on the premises than their mad ancient (100 year+) multi-strain.
cheers
MikeMcG

wildcrafter
05-03-2009, 05:56 AM
There is some good info here,,,but some of it links to nowhere or these people are not to be found,,perhaps some spelling issues.

I have some things to mention and question later about who and where, but for now,,,,Why organic hops?

Here's a little supportive research showing organic hops have more of what we humans are looking for in hops. Again,,I'd love to read the full text article if anybody can share it.

http://www.actahort.org/books/668/668_23.htm

Grow organic! ;)

mic_mac
05-03-2009, 09:13 AM
Have you thought about trying to contact either of the authors?

I've just had a google, but haven't found either email adresses, so far.

I did find reference to another article Denis De K. was involved in -

"Relevance of organic farming and effect of climatological conditions on the formation of alpha-acids, beta-acids, desmethylxanthohumol, and xanthohumol in hops"
more details here -
https://biblio.ugent.be/input?func=publicRecord&recordOId=362715
(though sadly, not the article itself)

This one was written with several others including Joris Cambie, a hop-grower from Popperinge, Belgium, who grows some amazing quality old & new UK varieties organically. (Fuggles, Goldings, Challenger, etc, IIRC). Again, given you being an organic hop-grower he might be able to get you a copy of some useful articles or advice.
cheers,
Mike McG.
http://www.betwixtbeer.co.uk

mic_mac
05-03-2009, 09:16 AM
FYI Wildcrafter - Joris Cambie - joris.cambie[a]telenet.be
Cheers
Mike.

wildcrafter
05-04-2009, 06:18 AM
Thanks everybody!

Thanks Mike! I'll try to contact Joris. BTW- the comparison of the 2 organic farmer was great. The english farmer story is the common one.

Liam- can you ship the seal flipper pie? Trade for organic hops? LOL!

Alex T- You allude to truth,,regionality change in the wind? Again?

Beersmith- I find no info yet for Hop Haven Ltd. I sure learned a bit about NZ hops in the attempt though, thanks. NZ seems to practice production control to have market control.

As far as organic yeast- I'm hearing that house yeasts are sorta ok,,but an issue is the MSG used in yeast nutrients and MSG is in many other yeast products. Who certifies organic yeast? Opportunity knocking?:cool:

How and why do we all ask for the hop exemption to be removed? If the legal use of the word "Organic" is just marketing,,,then let's use it to the fullest positive value and not hide behind a 5% ruling. Hops are more like food than cotton and the chemistries used in the farming of hops should reflect that,,currently hops are more like cotton. Buy organic, pay for organic, and organic will grow. And better beer for all!;)

Beersmith
05-07-2009, 08:35 AM
Wildcrafter,

The following is a link to an article on organic nz hops that you will interesting.

http://www.nzhops.co.nz/articles/organic.html

wildcrafter
05-07-2009, 10:56 AM
Wildcrafter,

The following is a link to an article on organic nz hops that you will interesting.

http://www.nzhops.co.nz/articles/organic.html
Thanks Beersmith!! I did,,I did!!:)

DanAleks
06-22-2009, 11:02 AM
Regards yeast, if memory serves, if you have a house strain used also for non-organic beers, you can still use it for organic beers (as the brewery I worked at never allowed any other yeasts on the premises than their mad ancient (100 year+) multi-strain.MikeMcG

We're running into a situation with this.
We were just informed we cannot pitch from a non-organic batch into an organic batch
because you are prohibited (in the US, anyway) from using the same ingredient in
organic and non-organic form in your product.

They're saying there is non-organic "malt residue" from the
non-organic batch which will be getting into the organic batch.

Does anyone know, on average, how much "malt residue" there might be in yeast slurry?

wildcrafter
06-22-2009, 11:25 AM
We're running into a situation with this.
We were just informed we cannot pitch from a non-organic batch into an organic batch
because you are prohibited (in the US, anyway) from using the same ingredient in
organic and non-organic form in your product.

They're saying there is non-organic "malt residue" from the
non-organic batch which will be getting into the organic batch.

Does anyone know, on average, how much "malt residue" there might be in yeast slurry?

If you use all organic ingredients, including the hops, doesn't the 90% rule apply for you?

Is anybody out there starting to supply organic yeast strains and organic yeast nutrients?

Capt. Bob
06-22-2009, 06:17 PM
Not to burst the Organic Bubble, but anyone brewing with municipal water
is kidding themselves if they think they are brewing an "Organic" beer.
No amount of filtering or treatment short of distillation can remove all of the
residual manmade crap from the water.

Let's face it...beer is mostly water.
Unless we concentrate on the quality of water we use, no amount of organic ingredients will help.

Bob
Saint Somewhere

gitchegumee
06-22-2009, 06:47 PM
Capt. Bob, I agree that water plays the leading role in beer production, not only as an ingredient, but also from cleaning & sanitizing and as processing agent for malt production (not to mention the irrigation of crops!). Still to put things into perspective, generally water is 99.99+% pure H2O, whereas malt and hops are typically only 4-5% water. Meaning that residual chemicals are much more likely to come to the final product through non-water ingredients. On top of that, the ingredients have residuals that are largely avoidable--they are applied with intent. Unlike water where we might be at the mercy of the municipal supply and whatever chemicals might permeate the soil into the aquifer. So I do believe that the 'Organic Bubble' is intact--putting the emphasis where we can be most productive and get the best bang for the buck. As you said, short of full-on distillation we are getting trace chemicals from municipal supplies. And concentrating effort there at the expense of the bulk of chemical taint isn't prudent for someone who wants to limit the total. We're not trying to be perfect, just better. My $0.02.

DanAleks
06-23-2009, 05:35 AM
If you use all organic ingredients, including the hops, doesn't the 90% rule apply for you?

It would, except they're applying this rule:

" (f) All products labeled as “100 percent organic” or “organic” and all ingredients identified as “organic” in the ingredient statement of any product must not:
(1) ...(5) deleted, do not apply
(6) Be produced using nonorganic ingredients when organic ingredients are available; or
(7) Include organic and nonorganic forms of the same ingredient."

Number 7 is the kicker. If there is non-organic "malt residue" in the yeast slurry, we're in violation.
Their solution is a dedicated yeast prop system, which will be around $15,000.
Does anyone know, on average, how much "malt residue" might be in yeast slurry?

jwalts
06-23-2009, 07:03 AM
If you assume the average cell diameter is 7.5 micrometers and the slurry has a density of 0.75 billion cells per millileter (roughly equivalent to the 0.75 billion cells per gram you may calculate with a hemocytometer), you can crudely estimate the percent volume of yeast by doing this:

-Individual cell volume = 4/3*pi*(7.5 um/2)^3 = 221 cubic micrometers.
-Total cell volume = 750000000 cells*221 cu um/(1000000000000 cu um/mL) = 0.166 mL of yeast per mL of slurry.
-Percent volume of yeast = 100*0.166 = 16.6%.

That means beer would constitute 83.4% of your slurry by volume. Using your final gravity (let's say it's 2 degrees Plato) and pitch volume (if you weigh your slurry, you can crudely assume the density is the same as water at 259 lbs/bbl), you can determine the weight of the "malt residue" with this formula:

Extract in lbs = (259+Plato)*Plato*(beer volume in barrels)/100

If you pitch 20 lbs of slurry, it'll look like this:

-Slurry Volume = 20 lbs/(259 lbs/bbl) = 0.077 bbl.
-Beer Volume = (83.4/100)*0.077 = 0.064 bbl.
-Malt Residue = (259+2)*2*0.064/100 = 0.33 lbs.

I hope this helps!

Joe

DanAleks
06-23-2009, 08:27 AM
It certainly did.

Thanks Joe!

jwalts
06-24-2009, 07:14 AM
Correction: you should use "real Plato" instead of the measured value because the density of alcohol throws off the extract calculation. Here's a quick and dirty way to estimate it (based on the densities of ethanol and water at 16C):

Adjusted Specific Gravity = (99.9*Specific Gravity - 0.792*abv)/(100-abv)

In the previous example, the specific gravity would be 1.008. If the alcohol content is 5% by volume, the equation results in an adjusted specific gravity of 1.018. The corresponding Plato value is 4.6. Plugging that back into the extract calculation (replace 2P with 4.6P) results in 0.78 lbs of "malt residue". Still a small number!

Joe

primroseHOPS
07-10-2009, 04:12 PM
A buddy and I are growing casscade hops in several 50 gallon buckets. The plants themselves are currently about 4 or 5 feet tall, and healthy, but some leaves have yellowish ends. I think they are in a stage where I can fertilize them, but we both agree that we want to keep everything organic. Any tips on organic fertilizers or organic pest control? Thanks!!